Jack Canfield has taken one small book of heartwarming stories and turned it into a multi-million dollar industry, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Canfield collaborates with dozens of authors to publish his books, and is always eager to help a new author break into the business. Here are his seven key strategies for writing and publishing a non-fiction book.
Decide That You ARE an Author
Come up with a title for your book and start declaring that you're "Jane Smith, author of XYZ book." Canfield says that once you've declared yourself and your intentions, it will be much harder to fail; in fact, it will create positive momentum for you. The key to finishing is getting started.
Hoard Your Time
Set aside writing time and guard it like gold. Share your goal with your family and friends, and ask their help in keeping to your schedule. Your writing time should be non-negotiable. No basketball game, no telephone call and not even any visitor should interrupt it. Emergencies happen, but make sure the only time you give up writing time is a true emergency.
Find Your Dream Topic
What's your passion? Is there a topic you love so much that people often get bored when you go on and on about it? That's your passion, and the niche you should be working in. If you're good at it or you know a lot about it, and you can teach people about it, that's the core to your non-fiction career.
Find Your Ideal Reader
You've got a passion, but you have to find an audience. Who would most likely benefit from your knowledge of emergency prepping or vegetable growing? Your prepping knowledge might benefit campers, frugal people and those who want to live off-grid. Gardeners? Look for those in apartments for container gardens, families for kids gardens or those frugal people again, looking to save money by raising their own food. Find your audience and write your book aimed toward them.
Think About Co-Authors
Writing your book or books might be too much work, especially if you're planning to write an elaborate series all tied together under one imprint. Think about looking for like-minded authors to work with you. You'll get the work out faster and create more momentum, which usually translates into more sales.
Always Think Marketing
Writing the next book is always best, but book marketing is crucial if you want to sell any of those books. Write short chapters use can use as excerpts, interview experts who might review your books and contact social media groups long before your book ever gets published.
Meditate About Problems
Meditating is using your brain power and focusing your mind on a goal. If you're stuck on a title, a chapter or any part of the writing process, use meditation to solve the problem. That's how Canfield says he came up with the title Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!